Convergence Center Construction Remains on Target

Despite the complexities of a tight working location and a few recent bouts of less than ideal weather, construction activity on the Information and Technology Center has been progressing steadily and the project remains on schedule for the building to be in full operation in time for the fall 2014 semester. As this view shows, there is a lot going on as the building continues to take shape.

One major accomplishment last week was the conclusion of the concrete pour for the first floor “slab on grade.”  Walls for the first floor have started to go up and, over the next two months, the process will be repeated for each of the remaining floors in the building. Also scheduled in the next two months are the beginnings of the exterior brick walls.  These will start at the Campus Walk side.  Work will next proceed around the back side of the building (the Sunken Road side), across the Arrington Hall end, and then across the front of the building back to the Simpson Road side.

The most noticeable construction feature is the tall tower crane standing over the site.  With generally cramped working conditions, and the proximity of the “resource protection area” that may not be encroached by construction machinery or workers during the project, the crane is essential for moving the equipment and materials required to keep the work progressing.  The crane rises approximately 100 feet above the top of the Simpson Library roof, and it is expected that the crane will remain on site until at least October 2013.

The contractors have been vigilant about managing noise from the site.  Work proceeded through a “quiet phase” during reading days and exam week for the fall semester; activity was limited to that requiring only hand tools or other construction methods that produced minimal noise.  Similar rules will be in effect for reading days and exam week at the end of the spring semester.  There were several discussions about where to stage the trucks during recent concrete pours so that the greatest amount of early morning noise would be as far away from the Alvey and Arrington residence halls as possible.  The resident in the College Heights neighborhood whose house is closest to the project site has recently commented that he has been impressed at the relatively low level of noise reaching his home.  Contractors will continue to ensure that noise disruptions caused by this project are minimized as much as possible.

When completed, the Convergence Center will be four stories tall (roughly the size of the Jepson Science Center) and will include a variety of spaces designed to enable students, faculty, and staff to interact with one another on both curricular and extracurricular tasks and projects.  The building will function as an intersection of teaching, learning, library resources, and technology resources in a space designed as an open, inviting, and active gathering place for students, faculty, and staff.  One sign that the project is progressing is that the Building Committee will be meeting this month to review specifications for the AV equipment that will be installed in the building.  We’re not at the point of buying equipment yet, but we do need to accurately define requirements in preparation for that step.

Follow the progress on the Convergence Center by viewing the webcam or reading the summaries of latest developments, maintained at the Convergence Center tab on the Provost’s website.

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